A Woman Alone: Autobiographical Writings Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Josef Herman, the artist who lived through the Nazi invasion of Poland, fled to what country?

2. What year was the old British Bechuanaland Protectorate established in Botswana?

3. According to Bessie in "Despite broken bondage . . .," what do men in Botswana mostly do?

4. In "God and the underdog," Bessie states that there is nothing that moves her more deeply than what?

5. In "Makeba music," Bessie states that she believes in what?

Short Essay Questions

1. How is Bessie's hatred of the white man lessened in Chapter 2?

2. Why was it so difficult for Bessie to deal with South Africa creatively?

3. In "A Note on Rain Clouds," what does Bessie state is thwarting young, idealistic, black men and their ideals?

4. How are Bessie and the American woman different?

5. When Bessie arrived in Botswana in 1964, what were the major differences that she noticed between that country and South Africa?

6. In "Makeba Music," how does Bessie describe the musician, Makeba?

7. Why does Bessie think of the American woman as some sort of goddess?

8. In "Social and Political Pressures . . . ," what astonished Bessie about the book "One Hundred Years of Solitude"?

9. Why according to Bessie has Botswana survived by "sheer luck and unexpected good fortune"?

10. In "God and The Underdog," what does Bessie feel fuels revolutions?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

After reading "A Woman Alone," what are your views on oppression? How does it begin? What is it based on? Does it spiral out of control or is it a deliberate action? How do events in South Africa since he 1990s seem compared to the hopes of the previously oppressed people?

Essay Topic 2

The artist, Gladys Mgudlandlu, was extremely popular in South Africa because of her escapism theory. Why does Bessie refer to her as "the exuberant innocent"? Does she think of her and her escapism theory as naïve? Does she see it as not wanting to deal with real issues? Do you think Bessie thought it was wrong of her to encourage the black South Africans to just "sit back and let God deal with it"? Was this just offering them a good excuse to do nothing about their situation? If there was no oppression, do you think that this artist would have been as popular?

Essay Topic 3

In "Preface to witchcraft," Bessie states that while living in South Africa she lived with a shattering sense of anxiety. Do you think that some anxiety remained even after her move to Botswana? Do you feel a sense of this in her writings? Is the format of "A Woman Alone" a reflection of an anxious person? Does the constant "skipping around" from one to piece to another, one subject to another, speak of an anxious brain? Do you perceive a lack of finishing one thing before starting another? Or, do you think the format is intentional and simply reflects Bessie's individual style?

(see the answer keys)

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